Bathurst return: Murphy and Stanaway to race Erebus Boost wildcard
Repco Supercars Championship
By James Pavey
Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway have been confirmed to pilot a Boost Mobile-backed Erebus Motorsport wildcard at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
The wildcard will see the two New Zealanders come out of retirement for October’s Great Race.
It will mark four-time Bathurst winner Murphy’s first Great Race start since 2014, and Stanaway’s first since 2019.
Murphy’s sensational comeback comes seven years after retiring from racing; it will mark his 23rd Bathurst 1000 start, having scored wins in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004.
WATCH: MURPHY AND STANAWAY LOCKED IN FOR BATHURST
It will be the fifth start for Stanaway, who last campaigned in the main game for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2019.
"All of a sudden here’s a group of people who are wanting and willing to make this happen," Murphy said.
"I’m very fortunate and lucky to be presented with the opportunity to go back and race at a place that means so much to me."
Murphy and Stanaway will run the former's iconic #51, a number he carried full time between 2001 and 2012.
He also carried the number to Bathurst victory in 2003, a day after his famous ‘Lap of the Gods’ Top 10 Shootout effort.
"The number 51 has become a signature that has been associated with me and my career for quite some time so it will be cool to bring it back," Murphy said.
"Peter [Adderton, Boost Mobile founder] played a significant role in how I came to be a full-time professional race car driver and now we are back here doing this together.
WATCH: MURPHY'S LAP OF THE GODS
"Barry [Ryan, Erebus CEO] and I have worked together several times and we have a great respect for each other. It’s going to be fun to go back and reminisce on some of the stories and memories that we’ve had in the past and I’m looking forward to the journey.”
It continues Murphy’s long-standing relationship with Adderton, which began in 1994 with both the Australian Manufacturer’s and Australian Drivers Championships.
28-time race winner Murphy was also Boost Mobile’s earliest motorsport ambassador.
Stanaway, a former open wheel ace, also campaigned under the Boost Mobile banner during stints at Tickford Racing in 2018, and GRM in 2019.
"At first I didn’t think Pete was being serious, like a lot of people but then he reached out to me," Stanaway said.
"I’ve had a really good relationship with Boost, it’s been great to have a sponsor that’s supported me and believed in me.
"I’m really grateful for their support and I’m glad we’re going ahead with it because I’m really looking forward to it.”
"Murph has always been a big inspiration of mine and driving with Murph is one of the big reasons why I want to come back.
"It’s cool to have someone of his calibre back in the car at the biggest race of the year.
"Erebus are a team I’ve always admired, and they’ve done a great job over the past few years so I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all like from the inside.”
For Adderton, the wildcard has become the reality of months of campaigning for fans, with the telecommunications company’s founder teasing the idea on social media.
"Originally the idea was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the fan reaction has been incredible, so I wanted to make this team happen for [the fans],” Adderton said.
"I got on the phone to Greg and Richie and although they initially weren’t interested, it didn’t take too long for them to see what we were trying to do and for them to change their minds.
"We have an incredible relationship with the team at Erebus and Barry [Ryan] understands better than most that the entertainment and fans are key to Supercars’ success.”
Ryan added: "As soon as we saw Peter’s idea, I thought that’d be a big undertaking but we almost ran a wildcard with Boost last year, so we already had a plan.
"I’ve engineered Greg before and worked with him really closely. He’s basically a motorsport God in New Zealand but he’s also got a lot of passionate Aussie fans as well so it will be cool to see how they react to the news.
"Both drivers know how to drive a race car and we’ll make sure we give them some good testing and that they’re comfortable in the car before we get to the mountain.”
The team will release the car’s livery next month ahead of the race across October 7-10.